Ghana is planning to open an embassy in Qatar, according to the country’s President John Dramani Mahama, following a state visit to Doha — the first of its kind by a sitting Ghanaian president.

President Mahama revealed the plans in talks with the Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifah Al Thani, on developing Ghana’s political and economic relations with Qatar and areas of investment such as energy, sports and agriculture.

A statement read: “Qatar’s development path and experiences offer valuable lessons for Ghana’s economic transformation, in view of the commonality between the two nations, especially in the oil and gas sector, petro-chemicals, hospitality, education and agribusiness.”

Sheikh Abdullah commended Ghana as a shining example of democratic and economic development in Africa, and said that he was delighted by the new chapter in the relationship.

After the meeting between the President and the Prime Minister, presidential spokesman Ben Dotse Malor added that President Mahama had in turn invited the Qatari government to also consider opening an embassy in Accra to strengthen its relations with Ghana.

Until now, the Embassy of Ghana in Riyadh has been responsible for overseeing relations with Qatar, which has similarly lacked direct diplomatic representation within Ghana.

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A deal to establish Qatar Airways flights to Ghana also sailed through following a meeting between President Mahama and Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways.

“The Chief Executive of Qatar Airways reassured the President that Qatar Airways is going to be flying daily to Accra from next year,” confirmed a Qatar Airways spokesperson.

Qatar Airways has already begun direct cargo flights to Accra and the passenger flights could commence from March, bound for Ghana’s largest airport, Kotoka International Airport.

President Mahama also noted that Ghana is planning to build a new international airport, and called on Qatar to consider being a partner in the prospective development.

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The President also held meetings with Qatar’s Minister for Energy and Industry, the head of Qatar International Petroleum, the managing director of Qatar Iron & Steel Industry, the CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority, as well as the leadership of the Qatar Foundation.

Ghana’s Minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, the Minister for Water and Housing, Collins Dauda, and the CEO of the Volta River Authority (VRA), GridCo and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre were among the Ghanaian’s accompanying the President.